Evolution of avalanche conducting states in electrorheological liquids

A. Bezryadin, R. M. Westervelt, M. Tinkham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Charge transport in electrorheological fluids is studied experimentally under strongly nonequilibrium conditions. By injecting an electrical current into a suspension of conducting nanoparticles we are able to initiate a process of self-organization which leads, in certain cases, to formation of a stable pattern which consists of continuous conducting chains of particles. The evolution of the dissipative state in such a system is a complex process. It starts as an avalanche process characterized by nucleation, growth, and thermal destruction of such dissipative elements as continuous conducting chains of particles as well as electroconvective vortices. A power-law distribution of avalanche sizes and durations, observed at this stage of the evolution, indicates that the system is in a self-organized critical state. A sharp transition into an avalanche-free state with a stable pattern of conducting chains is observed when the power dissipated in the fluid reaches its maximum. We propose a simple evolution model which obeys the maximum power condition and also shows a power-law distribution of the avalanche sizes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6896-6902
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of avalanche conducting states in electrorheological liquids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this